Our Staff

executive

Lisa Chick
President & CEO
lisa@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0330

Prior to joining the Alliance for Education, Lisa Chick served as Regional Vice President for City Year Inc., overseeing City Year’s efforts in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, and Seattle. City Year works to increase graduation rates for students living in high poverty urban areas. As Regional Vice President, Lisa partnered with senior leadership to ensure excellent results for students and districts, strong financial performance, and clear strategy for scaled impact.

Lisa’s tenure at City Year began in 1997. She oversaw school partnerships and student outcomes for City Year San José/Silicon Valley before serving as Executive Director in Seattle from 2000 - 2006. She began her role as a City Year Regional Vice President in 2007.

Lisa started her career as a public school teacher, teaching Social Studies and English in middle and high schools for three years. She also served as Co-Director for Summerbridge San Francisco, supporting high potential, low income students on the pathway to college.

Lisa received a BA in International Economic Development and a Masters in Teaching from Brown University. Her awards and honors include being one of the Puget Sound Business Journal ‘s “40 Under 40" in 2009, and the recipient of a 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellowship. She is married and the mother of two Seattle Public School students.

Lisa Chick
President & CEO
lisa@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0330

Zeynab Abdulqadir
Executive Coordinator
zeynab@alliance4ed.org 
(206) 205-0324

Prior to joining the Alliance for Education, Zeynab worked on Governor Inslee's reelection campaign and was responsible for organizing fundraising events throughout Washington.

Zeynab attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her B.A. in Political Science. She interned at the Virginia House of Delegates during college, then went on to work at a state and local government affairs firm as a Healthcare Legislative Analyst. 

Upon moving to Seattle, Zeynab delved into community engagement and early education programs with underserved populations before she landed on the campaign. She enjoys spending her weekends in Columbia City, going to the movies and biking. 

Zeynab Abdulqadir
Executive Coordinator
zeynab@alliance4ed.org 
(206) 205-0324

programs

Marisa Bier
Program Director
Seattle Teacher Residency
marisa@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0338

Prior to joining the Alliance for Education, Marisa was Coordinator of the Secondary Teacher Education Program at the University of Washington. She was responsible for all aspects of the program, particularly ensuring cohesiveness between program curriculum and school practicum experiences, building partnerships with schools in which teacher candidates were placed, and facilitating the work of university coaches who supported teacher candidates in the field.

Marisa brings more than 20 years of experience in education to the Alliance, beginning her career as a special education teacher of students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism, ages Pre-K through 12th grade. While serving in a leadership role as a site coordinator of her school's university partnership, Marisa developed an interest in teacher education and the role practitioners play in supporting new teacher development. She came to Seattle to pursue her doctorate in Education at the University of Washington, which she received in 2009. There, her studies focused on teacher learning across a continuum from novice to veteran, with a particular interest in learning as it is negotiated within communities of practice.

When not focused on education, Marisa enjoys world travel, fitness, good food, and returning to her Jersey shore roots for some beach time.

Marisa Bier
Program Director
Seattle Teacher Residency
marisa@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0338

Maggie Allen
Field Director
Seattle Teacher Residency
maggie@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0328

Maggie began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. She taught in an inclusion classroom where she worked with students in Special Education and English as a Second Language. She also was the leader of an action research team at her school and started a Family Writing Night program for families. After five years in the classroom, she decided to move to Seattle to be closer to family and pursue new career challenges. She most recently worked as the Program Director of Early Childhood Education with Refugee Women’s Alliance in the south end of Seattle.

In her free time, Maggie enjoys spending time with her two nieces, taking her dog to the park, and exploring new restaurants in Seattle.

Maggie Allen
Field Director
Seattle Teacher Residency
maggie@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0328

Gina La Porta Roller
Curriculum Coordinator
Seattle Teacher Residency
gina@alliance4ed.org
(206) 909-1471

Prior to joining the Seattle Teacher Residency, Gina was a school-based literacy coach in Seattle. She was responsible for aligning the literacy curriculum across the K-5 span and introducing new curricula to teachers. Additionally, Gina provided professional development to teachers across the district. Gina was an instrumental member of the Literacy Lab School Project which trained Seattle elementary teachers in best literacy practices combining theory, content and practice.

Gina brings more than 19 years of experience in education to the Seattle Teacher Residency, beginning her career as a classroom teacher in New York City. While working in high needs schools with a majority of English language learners, Gina developed an interest in studying the teaching of English learners and Second Language Acquisition. She received her Masters degree in TESOL from Teachers College at Columbia University. After moving to Seattle, Gina served as an ELD teacher for several years.

During her free time, Gina enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family.

Gina La Porta Roller
Curriculum Coordinator
Seattle Teacher Residency
gina@alliance4ed.org
(206) 909-1471

Michael Nguyen
Recruitment & Retention Coordinator
Seattle Teacher Residency
michaeln@alliance4ed.org
206.205.0347

Michael began his career in education as an AmeriCorps member with Partners in School Innovation, an education reform non-profit based in San Francisco, where he worked on student assessments and data analysis.   He went on to a teach for ten years in high poverty elementary schools in Los Angeles and Seattle.  While a classroom teacher, Michael was an active member of various leadership committees  and community organizations focused on a range of issues ranging from mathematics education and college access to race, equity, and social justice.

Michael received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and his M.Ed from UCLA.  In his free time, he likes to run, watch college football, and BBQ.

Michael Nguyen
Recruitment & Retention Coordinator
Seattle Teacher Residency
michaeln@alliance4ed.org
206.205.0347

finance

Amy Ward
Chief Financial Officer
amy@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0327

Amy oversees all finance and operations at the Alliance for Education. Amy has worked on staff and as an independent consultant for a variety of nonprofit and government agencies in Washington D.C. and Seattle, including the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, The Textile Museum, the University of Washington, the Seattle Monorail Project, Chinese Information and Service Center  and  Seattle Urban Nature.

Amy earned a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in economics.  She completed her early education in public schools in Selah, Washington.

Amy Ward
Chief Financial Officer
amy@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0327

Jim Molloy
Accountant and Fiscal Services Coordinator
jim@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0336

Jim works with Alliance school accounts as well as fulfilling staff accountant duties. Jim has held various accounting positions over the last 20 years.  His experience includes providing accounting services in a variety of environments, from large retailers to small non-profit organizations.  Prior to coming to the Alliance, he worked with his wife in their accounting business for 6 years.  As a lifelong Seattleite, Jim is excited about helping to support Seattle Public Schools and students in his work with the Alliance.

Jim received his B.A. in Business Administration – Emphasis Accounting from the University of Washington.  He has two kids and enjoys hiking and biking with his family.

Jim Molloy
Accountant and Fiscal Services Coordinator
jim@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0336

Alma Romero
Office Manager
alma@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0320

Alma serves as the Alliance for Education's office manager and also has responsibilities related to accounting and donor services.  She has been with the Alliance since 1999.  Prior to her work at the Alliance, Alma spent many years in the restaurant business, working both in management roles and as a server.  Her three children attended Seattle Public Schools.

Alma completed her A.A. degree at San Bernardino Community College.  Her early education was completed at public schools in the San Bernardino School District in California.

Alma Romero
Office Manager
alma@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0320

development

Christine Beddia, CFRE
Director of Development
christine@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0326

Christine joined the Alliance in 2017 to direct development efforts. Christine received her B.S. in Retail Management from Philadelphia University and her Master in Public Administration from the College of Charleston. Her previous roles include Development Director at the Savannah Music Festival, the largest musical celebration in Georgia, and Director of Marketing and Communications at Coastal Community Foundation, South Carolina’s largest public grantmaking foundation. Christine is particularly proud that her fundraising efforts at the Festival supported musical education programming for the 10,000 K-2 students in the Savannah area of Georgia. She is a founding Board Member for the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network and a member of the CommA Hall of Fame. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and specializes in nonprofit development, marketing and strategic planning.

Outside of her professional passions, Christine loves yoga, hoppy IPAs, super dark espresso, cooking Italian, waterfall hikes and 80s movies. She, her husband and their daughter live in Ballard with dog, Daisy and cat, Bella. 

Christine Beddia, CFRE
Director of Development
christine@alliance4ed.org
(206) 205-0326

Leah Harari
Development Manager
leah@alliance4ed.org 
(206) 205-0335

Prior to joining the Alliance for Education, Leah worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound as the Development and Events Coordinator, managing their donor database and special events. Other local organizations she has worked at include Washington Environmental Council and the Grameen Foundation.

Leah attended to University of Wisconsin- Madison, where she earned degrees in Spanish and International Studies. After graduating, she spent a year living in Otavalo, Ecuador working with the indigenous Kichwa-speaking population.

Leah has lived in Seattle since August 2015, where she enjoys all things outdoors, brewery hopping and seeing live music.

Leah Harari
Development Manager
leah@alliance4ed.org 
(206) 205-0335